Trump Has Given Nation’s Farmers $18B More Than Cost Of 2009’s Auto Bailouts
President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has peeled away one of American farmers’ largest export markets, leaving producers in the U.S. strapped for cash and causing bankruptcies to soar.
But the president sought to stanch the bleeding by infusing the agricultural industry with a $28 billion bailout — more than twice the amount spent by President Barack Obama to save the auto industry — in a move widely panned as a bribe for farmers' votes.
Bloomberg Business reported: “At $28 billion so far, the farm rescue is more than twice as expensive as the 2009 bailout of Detroit's Big Three automakers, which cost taxpayers $12 billion. And farmers expect the money to keep flowing.”
Despite railing against Obama’s bailout — The Week noted that at the time, now-Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) suggested Obama should simply let Detroit go bankrupt — Republicans have largely sat by and allowed Trump to subsidize U.S. agriculture after creating the need for the cash infusion.
American farmers are an important constituency for the president — and Republicans in general — and Trump has made clear he will work to maintain their support.
"I sometimes see where these horrible dishonest reporters will say that 'Oh jeez, the farmers are upset.' Well, they can't be too upset, because I gave them $12 billion and I gave them $16 billion this year," Trump said as he spoke by phone to a group of Illinois farmers in August.
"I hope you like me even better than you did in '16,” he added.